|Rambling and Random Thoughts About The Teachings of Jesus|
|Rambling - Does all Jesus Taught Apply to Me Under Grace
Jesus spent three or four years teaching and preaching. In that short time he changed the world as no other person has. I recently finished a book by John Ortberg titled "Who Is This Man." It is all about how Jesus changed the world. It is a great book. That book along with some other things touched off some rambling and random thoughts about all of the things Jesus said. I know all of the things he said are true. I am not sure how much of it applies to believers under the new covenant of grace. I thought about that a great deal. Jesus was teaching and preaching mostly to Israel and they were under the covenant which God gave through Moses. The relationship between man and God did not change until Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice and then rose from the dead. Everything is different on "this side of the cross." Some things Jesus said to those under the law, on the "other side of the cross", do not actually apply today, after the cross.
Let me give one example that I believe is undisputable. In the fifteenth chapter of Matthew Jesus said he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. No matter how hard we try we can only explain that by the cross. The cross changed that. Jesus taught some things to show them that the law was really a thing of the heart and that they could not really keep it. The religious crowd thought they were doing a great job of keeping all the commandments. He told them in Matthew chapter five that lust was equal to adultery. That is bad news! Really bad news! He told them that if their eye caused them to sin put it out. If you look at something or someone and it causes you to lust, just put out your eye. More bad news. Or if your hand causes you to sin cut it off. We donít believe God wants us to be walking around with one eye (or none) and no hands. He was just telling them how serious sin is. He was telling them how serious the law is. The law is without mercy. Grace is mercy.
So I spent some time thinking about other times Jesus taught then, which donít seem to apply after the cross. I also thought about how some preacher/teachers today have never figured that out. I thought of some examples. Here is one. I have heard whole messages on forgiveness where the heart of the message was if you donít forgive others God wonít forgive you. They were referencing Matthew where Jesus taught that principle to the Jews who were under the law. Well, does that apply to me under the covenant of grace? Can I earn my forgiveness from God by forgiving others. If I can then, I guess I would deserve to be forgiven if I earned it. Would I not? That would not be grace. Jesus taught this before the cross. He even included it in the model prayer. What am I told about forgiveness after the cross? Paul writes to the Ephesians and tells them to forgive because God through Jesus has forgiven you. That is surely different from forgive others to earn forgiveness. I remember another time almost forty years ago when I was young and a youth director. I was at a youth event and went over to where two pastors, who I knew, were talking. They welcomed me when I got over there. They were discussing whether Judas Iscariot was really "saved" or not. I listened for a moment then I interjected, "Well nobody was saved then because Jesus had not yet died and been raised. So, Judas could not have been saved." To that they did not really comment. I did not realize until later that I was really brash to say what I did to two men who had spent years in college then seminary. I probably should have just walked off as I am sure my comment did not serve much purpose, even though I was completely correct in my theology and they were lacking. It is almost impossible to change a religious mind set. Even with all their learning they did not realize almost everything is different after the cross.
Jesus made the statement to his disciples that there were many more things he desired to tell them, but he could not. I believe that was because the cross must take place first or those things would not apply. Those things were given to us by Holy Spirit through the writers of the epistles. They were recorded and divinely preserved for us to have today.
I know Jesusí teaching is so rich in meaning. Some of the parables are very deep in meaning. The principles he taught were not only revolutionary then, they are now. As I contemplated all these things, I realized everything must be considered according to the full counsel of scripture. The event of the cross, the sacrifice Jesus offered there is the dividing point for everything. Something may have been spoken by Job, David, Solomon or Jesus; we must determine if it is law or grace. We must determine to which side of the cross does it apply. I have decided that law can have grace mixed with it sometimes; however grace can not have law mixed with it ever. If it does then it is not really grace. It is law.
These are things I thought about. What do you think?
Light Inside Home